Varshini Narayanan

nina narayanan
PhD Student in Music/TAPS
Cohort Year: 2018
Education: BA, Princeton, 2016
Research Interests: diaspora; fusion; embodiment; Indian music; Indo-Caribbean


As both an ethnomusicologist and a performing artist, I use music as a lens to explore questions of authenticity and belonging, drawing heavily on my background in Carnatic, jazz, choral, and operatic performance. My research focuses on the semiotics of musical performance and the interface between music and language, studying the (co)construction and expression of cultural identity through group improvisation and the interactions that take place between musician, ensemble, and audience, both offstage and on. My prior and ongoing projects explore the transmission and pedagogy of oral traditions, especially those that do not fit neatly into Eurocentric modes of transcription and analysis.